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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

Friday, September 29, 2017

Former Correctional Officer Convicted of Violating an Inmate's Civil Rights

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – This afternoon, after a four-day trial, Willie L. Walker, 58, of Lynn Haven, Florida, was convicted in the U.S. District Court of depriving an inmate of his constitutional rights.  The verdict was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.


In March 2015, Walker, while acting as a correctional officer at the Gulf Correctional Institution, assaulted an inmate, resulting in bodily injury.  The government presented evidence that, during his career as a correctional officer, Walker had assaulted at least four inmates.  In this case, the testimony demonstrated that Walker sprayed the inmate with a chemical agent and then struck him repeatedly, resulting in a fractured nose and head wound, which required several staples.  In an attempt to establish that he had acted in self-defense, Walker planted a homemade weapon or “shank.”


Walker faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.


The sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 14, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Panama City.


The case was investigated by the Florida Department of Corrections – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aine Ahmed.


The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

Civil Rights
Violent Crime
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
Updated September 29, 2017